Saturday, 15 September 2012

iwepts sept 2012

7.30am The wooden bridge, Clontarf, Sat 15th September 2012

7.35am Bull Island - lots of daylight still.

Jerry, back of John, Ger and the new boy, Denis.

Helen and Laura joined us and the fun began.

We were given our sections, we started counting, the fun drained away.

Not to put anyone off volunteering for iwebs within the 2nd sentence! because it is a good thing to do, but as soon as we started counting we were quickly reminded that iwebs, by its nature, is daunting.

Well, if you want to try and be accurate, it can be daunting; if you didn't care, you could look out at the mudflats, look at all the waders, react with a 'meh', make up some numbers, shout 'finished' and go drink coffee - but we are good little volunteers, so we get to bitch and moan, because if you want to get good counts, iwebs is a bit of a head wreck.
(unless of course you get to 'do' the beach - then you just get to sit on a rock, sip coffee and look wistfully out to sea).

So anyways, me and Denis got on with our counts, bitched and moaned (sign of a good volunteer), decided that sections 3 and 4 were extremely difficult, by far the hardest of all sections in Ireland, congratulated ourselves on being amazing people for giving it a go, made up a master plan of how to do the section differently next month, and before we knew it, we were finished.

Luckily there weren't actually all that many birds around today, hardly any in fact, so we finished up relatively early, and to be honest, it was probably one of the easiest iwebs counts I've done so far (thanks Denis).
The tide didn't rush in, the weather was great, it was very calm and still, no wind, no rain, no fog, no mist, no watery eyes, no snotty nose, no frozen hands, no tantrums, it was warm, maybe 13ยบ, so the two of us were able to take our time, chat, count, we even managed a good look at a Peregrine perched on a post which Denis spotted.

Of note from today's count were early arrivals of Brent Geese, possibly around 100, I counted 240 Common gulls! never seen anymore than 20 in the one go, so to see 240 was incredible.
No Dunlin in our sections, no Knot, no Pintails, no Shovelers, 4 Shelduck, not many Oystercatchers in comparison to the numbers me and Jim saw in August, no Plovers at all - that we saw. 50ish GBB gulls, Helen got Wigeon and Teal....  and the perched Peregrine.

So that was our Sept iwebs, started 8ish, finished by 9.40am.

After iwebs, I drove over to Crumlin to see if I could see this Raven being reported by Stephen Lawlor
on Irish Birding.
He's also managed to see an adult Med gull (Clonmacnoise roundabout/ Bangor circle, Crumlin), Buzzard (soaring over Crumlin/ Drimnagh) and Merlin (Landsdowne valley park, Drimnagh) in the last few weeks.
Of course I didn't see any from his list today.

But I did see a Common gull in with the Herring gulls and Black headed gulls on Clonmacnoise roundabout.

Adult Common Gull, Clonmacnoise roundabout, Crumlin, Dublin 12

Size of Common gull in comparison to the juv Herring gull and Black headed gull in distance.
Adult Common gull

juvenile Starling, Crumlin, Dublin 12
Adult Starling, Crumlin, Dublin 12 - there was a flock of around 120.

Just look at the brush stroke precision of the plumage
Not the sharpest photo of a Rook, but I love that dagger bill and near blue tones going through the feathers.
2 juvenile Rooks, Crumlin
Would you just get off!


So there you go, there's a post for you.

No more official complaints to the blog ombudsman please.
Cold weather and long dark nights make for lots of posts, warm weather and long bright evenings make for few.